Fluoride Action Network


The aim of the present study is to determine the effect of inorganic arsenic (As) and its metabolites on the viability of the neural progenitor cell (NPC) line C17.2, in order to evaluate cellular mechanisms involved in As developmental neurotoxicity. Moreover, we analyzed the effects of the coexposure to As and fluoride (F), a situation to which some populations are commonly exposed. Our results show that NPCs are not susceptible to pentavalent As species [arsenate, monomethylarsonic acid, and dimethylarsinic acid] and F alone. However, the trivalent metabolites of arsenate [arsenite, monomethylarsonous acid, and dimethylarsinous acid] are toxic at concentrations below 1 mg/l, and this susceptibility increases when there is coexposure with F (? 5 mg/l). Arsenite triggers apoptosis after 24 h of exposure, whereas monomethylarsonous acid produces necrosis at very short times (2 h). Arsenite leads to an increase in intracellular Ca levels and generation of reactive oxygen species, which may cause a decrease in mitochondrial transmembrane potential, release of cytochrome c, and consequent activation of caspases. A slight activation of calpain also takes place, which might favor activation of the mitochondrial pathway or might activate other pathways. The treatment with some antioxidants such as quercetin and ?-tocopherol shows only a partial reduction of the cytotoxicity.